Friday, March 12, 2010

Late Night Ratings: Leno back on top

Back in May 2009, "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" was watched by an average of 5.006 million people, vs. 3.729 million "Late Show with David Letterman" viewers. Have things already returned to the status quo? Here are the ratings for the week of March 8-12 1-5, according to NBC:

NBC “Tonight,” 5.6 million viewers
CBS “Late Show,” 3.7 million viewers
ABC “Nightline,” 3.6 million viewers

In May 2009, the breakdown among adults 18-49 was 1.845 million for Jay vs. 1.334 million for Dave. In adults 18-34, there were 697,000 "Tonight Show" viewers, while 545,000 young folks tuned into "Late Show."

During Leno's first week back on "Tonight," Jay averaged 1.949 million adults 18-49, vs. 1.305 for Dave. In adults 18-34, Jay’s 721,000 topped Letterman’s 488,000.


  1. Mainiac said...

    Isn't it kind of apples and oranges, or at least apples and some other kind of apples, to be comparing relative numbers from a REGULAR week last year to a PREMIERE week (with high-profile guests heavily promoted throughout the Olympics) this year? Seems like an invalid comparison, and pretty much a waste of time.

  2. Talk Show News said...

    May might've been more of a "regular" week, but it was also part of Jay's farewell lap, so the comparison isn't quite as far-fetched as it seems. Anyway, I will keep following the numbers over time.

  3. Mainiac said...

    Thanks for the response. I hadn't considered that May '08 was "part of Jay's farewell lap." (Makes me nostalgic for the days when we could hope late night would be forevermore Leno-free). I guess that does make it a more valid comparison. But I'm anxious to see the numbers a month or so from now...and, full disclosure, rooting for Dave.

  4. Anonymous said...

    They can predict the average for March 8-12 before the March 12 shows air?

  5. Anonymous said...

    They are NBC numbers. According to the link below

    the numbers for Leno are not that high on the second week.

  6. Talk Show News said...

    I was incorrect, they were March 1-5 numbers, not 8-12. I will correct the text.

  7. Anonymous said...

    This is NBC's way of saying that Jay's "The New King of Late Night: Again," without actually saying it. ~